By: Bethany Winkel
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Recent Violence Linked to Mental Illness
According to officials, mental illness could be to blame for the recent shootings in America. Both John Russell Houser, shooter in the Louisiana movie theater attack, and Chattanooga gunman, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, struggled with mental health and depression in the past. Authorities say that the mental health issues of these men could have led them to carry out these atrocious acts of violence.
Mental illness is an issue that affects many Americans. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 42.5 million American adults (or 18.2 percent of the total adult population in the United States) suffer from some mental illness, enduring conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Of those, 9.3 million adults, or about 4 percent of those Americans ages 18 and up, experience “serious mental illness” which is categorized as impeding their normal daily activities.
Mental illness itself is debilitating, but it can also contribute to drug and alcohol abuse and addiction. In order to heal mental health issues and keep a person from turning to addiction to numb their pain, we need to screen more people for mental illness and provide help when necessary.